THE DEVELOPER WHO BUILT THE APARTMENTS next door thinks I live in a house out of its time, an ancient, immovable, moss-grown boulder impeding the river of progress. In his mind, my bungalow’s closets are too small to hoard the stuff people need, its kitchen too cramped for an audience, its garden and 100-year-old trees a waste of useful land. I met him a few years ago when he stopped long enough to come to my door and ask if I would sell this property. It would be a shame, he said, not to develop it. The lot could accommodate at least a dozen units if they were intelligently stacked. And there would be big money in it. Win/win.

He said he loves the Craftsman style. It’s easy to build and it’s a hot seller nowadays. He knew all about the Arts & Crafts Movement too, he claimed, and how it once had social meaning. His words about the movement painted images of another time, another place, with starched collars and long, cinched dresses and lettering with undersize o’s that perch atop a column of dots.

My answer sent him scurrying before I could explain what we’re up to, you and I. Even a few Web addresses would have pointed him to the growing multitude of individuals who know the truth about simple living, quality versus quantity, good books, neighborhood unity, organic gardening and self-reliance. To you and me, this arts-and-crafts bungalow life is not about the past, it is the future. We live in pivotal times. Technology, world population and consumption of resources rocket upward in a dizzying logarithmic curve, with the economy as the equal and opposite reaction. There is a large question mark at the end of the Mayan calendar for all to see and some to believe. Fear and uncertainty darken the headlines. But the pendulum swings in two directions in the clock measuring the march of time. Out of necessity, we may bring about a saner, healthier era by coming to terms with each other and with the planet.

Yes, times are tough. New home sales are down by 71 percent. Those now offered are smaller, on average, by 300 square feet. The collapse of bloated house values has tranquilized the McMansion frenzy. The developer’s double-wide pickup hasn’t cruised the neighborhood for months. But the legion of bungalow people continues to spread, unnoticed, like ants marching in green grass, recycling entire houses and attracting ever-younger generations with the nectar of sweet reason. Even the grasshoppers of consumption have quieted their music to listen to the sound of the times. It is a deep, chestpounding sound, like a wild spring torrent rumbling past an immovable, eternally green boulder.

Looking forward to hearing from you,





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